It’s no secret that my favorite band of all time is Bon Jovi. From the time they first started out of the gate in 1984, I was hooked. A few years later when I was a teenager, I had the awesome opportunity to meet them at a softball game they played against a local radio station. I was asked by Alec, the bass player at the time, to go back to the hotel and party with the band. Like an idiot, I was in love with the man that would eventually become my abusive ex-husband, and I didn’t want to risk losing him, so I didn’t go. (I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day.)
A couple of years after that, I was pregnant with my daughter Stefani. The lovely boyfriend who was her father, wanted nothing to do with me or our child from about five minutes after I told him I was pregnant. (Let’s note here that like a fool, I still married him a couple of years later. I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day as well.) He left me for a fifteen-year old girl and actually got her pregnant while I was pregnant with his daughter. (This was not the first nor the last time that he felt it his duty to procreate the earth while he was with me while I stupidly stayed faithful to him for years upon years. But I digress.)
Anyway, three and a half weeks before Stefani was born, Bon Jovi was coming to my town. This time, they were the headliner, and their opening act was Skid Row. I liked Skid Row, but I LOVED Bon Jovi. A friend worked at the venue where they were to perform and offered me tickets, but I didn’t think that being pregnant, it would be such a good idea to go.
Also, while I was pregnant, as I mentioned in my earlier post, because I was so sick, I had to quit working until two weeks after Stefani was born. And because her dad left me, I had no choice but to live with my Grandma again. But Grandma was a very proud and old-fashioned woman, not to mention controlling. As such, I wasn’t allowed to leave the house during the day so that neighbors wouldn’t see that I was pregnant and know that I was unmarried. I wasn’t allowed to wear maternity clothes for the same reason. And she had a ready made story made up about me being married and my husband working out of town or some other such nonsense in case anyone happened to see me and question her. I’m sure she clearly envisioned the day someone would walk up to her and say, “So, Toby, I hear your granddaughter is a whore who gave birth to a bastard child. What were you thinking when you raised her to be so horrible?” (Yes, really. That was the epitome of my childhood, hence my book What Would the Neighbors Think?) (Of course, she never had any idea that her rigid rules are what likely caused me to “get out of hand” as well as cling to the first guy who came along and said he loved me despite how badly he treated me, as I was just looking for some freedom. But again, I digress.)
So, a few days before Bon Jovi came to town, I had a dream that I got to meet Jon Bon Jovi again and that I was in a tour bus partying with him as well as a couple of members of Def Leppard who I used to like before Bon Jovi came out, (but unlike Bon Jovi, I was over Def Leppard). It was a nice dream, but I didn’t think much more about it.
The day of the concert, two of my friends called me and asked me again if I wanted to go to the concert. Of course I wanted to, but I just didn’t think it was a good idea, so I told them no. Then they suggested that we go and hang out behind the venue. We could still hear the show and perhaps we could see the bands arrive and go in the back. That sounded like a lot more fun than all the puking I’d been doing for the previous eight months, so that’s what we did. I wore my black spandex, a black t-shirt, and black boots, and my hair was sufficiently “big.” (It was the eighties.) Because I was so sickly during my pregnancy, I was “nothing but baby,” and from the back, one couldn’t even tell I was pregnant. I was excited!
As we hung around the back door, there were about fifteen other girls and a couple of guys hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the bands. An hour or so after we got there, a limousine pulled up and drove through the back door. As it slowly drove past us, I was closest to the door. The window went down, and Jon Bon Jovi pointed at me out the window and grinned. (Which I’m sure was only because I was so pregnant , but I didn’t care why — I was thrilled!)
I was on Cloud Nine! My head turned as I continued to watch the limo drive past. But the next thing I knew, someone gently grabbed my baby belly and said, “Is this mine?”
I didn’t even think. I turned and smacked the guy across the face. Hard. At that moment, all of the other girls there scowled at ran toward me, and one of the guards had to push them back! It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that the person I slapped was none other than Sebastian Bach, the lead singer of Skid Row! (Yes, really!)
My two friends turned to me and simultaneously said, “You just slapped Sebastian Bach!” Then one said, “He thought you were pregnant with his baby!” (Yes, I knew he was only kidding, but it was still flattering just the same.) By then, all the members of Skid Row walked past us through the back door, and they stared me down as they passed (I’m sure because any other girl would’ve welcomed the opportunity to interact with Sebastian!)
I felt so stupid! Once again, that was a kick-myself moment that I wish I could go back in time and do differently!
The other girls kept glaring at me and whispering about me, which made me very uncomfortable. So, my friends and I went to Skid Row’s bus and talked the bus driver into letting us on. (I’m sure my being pregnant helped.) There was a cool sticker in the front just past the driver, that said “Get Bach!” (as in Get Back!) The driver talked with us for a couple of minutes then we had to get off the bus, but it was fun just being there. And when we stepped off, we walked over to a different bus only to find none other than Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard! He was there as a guest. We got his autograph and talked to him for quite a while, and he was super nice. (And again, I think my being pregnant helped keep him talking for so long.)
So, though my dream prediction was a bit skewed, it was still a fun time, sans the slapping of Mr. Bach. It was definitely freaky that Rick Allen was there after I randomly dreamed that I’d party with Def Leppard! And to this day, since Stefani’s father is such a piece of work, she and I always joke that Sebastian Bach is her “real” father.
Time to talk: What’s your favorite song by either Bon Jovi, Skid Row, or Def Leppard? Would you go to a concert while pregnant? Would you ever worry so much about what your neighbors thought that you’d make your daughter pretend she wasn’t pregnant?